Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Dinner—In Pictures

Well, mostly in pictures. I'll give some commentary, too.

Clearly my baguette shaping skills need improving. I made the dough ahead using the 
Master Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, that way 
all I had to do was shape and bake the day of.

As you might know, Dwight's birthday was last Thursday. Due to schedules and the fact that it was a "school night," I decided to make Dwight a special dinner on Friday instead. Since he loves seafood, I decided to try my hand at crawfish etouffee. I used this recipe and made minor modifications — used crawfish instead of shrimp, added bay leaves and some cayenne pepper. It was delicious.

The "holy trinity" of creole and cajun cooking — onion, bell pepper and celery.

The roux, just starting out. It turned the color of peanut butter by the time I called it done. I could have gone another 5 minutes, I think, but I was happy with it.

And then there was dessert.

I knew I wanted to make something with chocolate, so I went to one of my go-to recipe sites, Smitten Kitchen. Deb, SK's award winning blogger, also has a chocolate-loving husband. It just so happens that the recipe I chose was one she made for her husband's birthday a few years ago. It combines three of Dwight's faves — chocolate, cheesecake and brownies.

Click any photo to enlarge


  1. Looks Great! Wish I would've known it was his b-day... ;(
    You are so thoughtful.

  2. is it a problem that I'm drooling on my laptop while looking at that cake?!? (you had one of my favorite wines on the counter too...) The real question is - what's he making for your birthday?!?

  3. Will you come on cook for me on MY birthday!?!? Sooooo good!

  4. Amy- We'll have to get together to celebrate ALL of our b-days!

    Barb - A paper towel ought to clean that right up. ;) I haven't decided if I'll have him cook - and he's a great cook - or if we'll go out to dinner. (I love that wine. I bought two bottles - I knew I'd want another on hand!)

    Susie - Sure! But that's not until next January. Maybe we need to plan something sooner. ;)

  5. Wow! Did it all taste as good as it looked? Great pics and great food, what a sweet bday meal!

  6. Wow. That cheesecake looks incredible.

  7. Katie is a big cheesecake fan for her birthday and I just showed her this post. Her comment, "You are SO making that for my birthday this year!" Matt wants it too and his birthday comes first... or maybe I'll make it for Easter...

  8. Barb-
    It's totally worth the work, and really, it's not difficult, just time consuming since you have to make the brownies ahead. I cheated and made boxed brownies, so that helped a little. :)

    The cheesecake part was a cinch. I'd totally make this again, even with the "work". It's SO good!

  9. You are the "most gawked last 7 days" over a foodgawker!!!

    That is so awesome!

  10. NO WAY! It didn't even show up in my RSS reader, which bummed me out, but apparently others got to see it.

    *running to check foodgawker*

  11. This cheesecake looks absolutely fabulous. I must try this out!


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